Millionaires at Davos say tax us more

- BBC News

Millionaires at Davos say tax us more

A handful of wealthy attendees gathered in Davos are calling on world leaders to tackle the cost of living crisis by pushing up taxes for people like them.

They took to the streets on Sunday alongside left-wing activists to call for fairer tax systems worldwide.

Political and business leaders are at the first in-person World Economic Forum (WEF) since the pandemic began.

But criticisms are mounting over the way the wealthy have profited in the last two years.

UK millionaire Phil White said: "While the rest of the world is collapsing under the weight of an economic crisis, billionaires and world leaders meet in this private compound to discuss turning points in history.

"Its outrageous that our political leaders listen to those who have the most, know the least about the economic impact of this crisis, and many of whom pay infamously little in taxes. The only credible outcome from this conference is to tax the richest and tax us now."

Mr White, who represents a group called Patriotic Millionaires, made his money as a business consultant. He said he was joining left-wing and anti-poverty campaigners calling for change at the annual meeting of influential business people and political leaders because the current economic system was failing.

Over the past decade, a growing number of millionaires and billionaires in the US and Europe have spoken out, calling for governments to impose higher taxes, including wealth levies on the richest.

Marlene Engelhorn, another millionaire at the protest, said: "As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of wealth my whole life, I know how skewed our economy is and I cannot continue to sit back and wait for someone, somewhere, to do something.

"We have hit the end of the line when another quarter of a billion people will be pushed into extreme poverty this year."

The charity Oxfam, which issues a report on inequality during the Davos forum each year, claims that over the last two years a new billionaire had been created every 30 hours.

At the other end of the income spectrum, Oxfam expects around one million people to fall into extreme poverty every 33 hours this year, the charitys international executive director Gabriela Bucher told the BBC.

"Inequality between countries had been reducing over the last couple of decades," she said.

"During the pandemic it had increased and with the rates were seeing now it looks like its going in extreme directions that are creating these catastrophic conditions and they reflect in peoples lives."

This WEF meeting is taking place later in the year than usual, meaning the 2,000 leaders, experts and business people attending wont be able to enjoy skiing in their spare time in the Swiss resort.

Topics on the agenda include the war in Ukraine, pandemic recovery and climate change.

Read it all at BBC News